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Lexus IS250

Broadcast date : 14th January 2007


One of the biggest industry stories of 2006 has been the emergence of Lexus as a major sales player, thanks to a complete range make-over.

It was the 2004 RX300 SUV that finally gave the Lexus brand-presence, and now the new sedans are following suit.

Our favourite-looking new Lexus is actually the GS300, but this one isnít bad, with some very contemporary Japanese styling cues.

The overall styling package isnít as crisp as the out-going IS200 and 300 models, but the powertrain on this entry-level Lexus model is what has made all the difference.

The previous two-litre straight-six has been replaced by a 2,5 litre V6 that has much more low-down punch. It also revs sweetly to the red-line with satisfying precision.

Although Lexus cars were criticised for being rather soul-less in the early days in South Africa, they have always been noted for exceptional engineering refinement, and that goes for their engines, their build-quality and their road manners. Perfect poise is the Lexus hallmark.

Thanks to Toyotaís belated success in the export market, the company has been able to drop the prices on cars like the Lexus to extremely competitive levels.

This is the base-spec IS250, while an SE model, at over the R300 000 mark, comes with niceties like Sat Nav.

The price, and the hundred and fifty kiloWatt output of the new IS250, all of a sudden sees this entry-level exec-mobile trading punches with two-litre offerings from the likes of Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, and the ripples are being felt in this important area of the new-car market.

The build level and packaging of the interior is beyond reproach, even though itís typically conservative in its concept.

Full leather upholstery, acceptable rear legroom and plenty of storage compartments makes it a sensible family choice and a satisfying driverís car.

Weíve always enjoyed the razor-sharp turn-in that is part and parcel of the Lexusís steering and chassis package, and the IS250 retains that satisfying trait.

The IS250 has been chosen as a Car of the Year contender and, despite rather fussy styling, we feel it stands a good chance of winning, as itís great value for money.


Lexus IS250
  • Engine: V6 petrol, 2 500 cc
  • Power: 153 kW @6 400 rpm
  • Torque: 252 Nm @ 4 800 rpm
  • Transmission: 6-speed automatic, rear-wheel-drive
  • 0-100 km/h: 9,4 seconds (claimed)
  • Top speed: 210 km/h (claimed)
  • Fuel consumption: 11,5 litres/100 km (estimated)
  • Price: R287 000

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